Skip to Main Content

Salute to Seniors: Simthyrearch Dy

Simthyrearch Dy: Student program manager for SPACE HAUC

Sim Dy
Simthyrearch Dy with a scale model of the SPACE HAUC satellite.
Simthyrearch Dy dreams of working for NASA someday. 

He’s gotten a taste of what that might be like as the student program manager for SPACE HAUC (pronounced “Space Hawk”), UMass Lowell’s first student-built satellite, which is scheduled for launch into orbit later this year.

The Honors College student from Lowell, who is a computer science, physics and math triple major, joined the SPACE HAUC project (which stands for Science Program Around Communications Engineering with High-Achieving Undergraduate Cadres) in 2016.

Dy is part of a team of 100 students from physics, math, computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering that has been working on the satellite, which is funded with a two-year, $200,000 grant from NASA. The team is building and testing the satellite’s components at the university’s Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology. Launch is slated for this fall from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Dy has learned far more than he ever expected from the experience.

“I expected that I would be exposed to how my areas of study are used in space science missions and building spacecraft,” he says. “What I didn’t expect was to learn almost the entire process of putting together a spaceflight mission – from identifying the mission’s goals and recruiting team members to learning new concepts I wouldn’t otherwise learn in class, and now to running and coordinating the entire mission.”

Being part of the project has shaped his future plans.

“Because of SPACE HAUC, I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in either astronomy or computer science,” he says.